California State University, Northridge wanted to consolidate and expand their graduate and undergraduate biology and mathematic programs into one state-of-the-art teaching and research facility. Cannon Design was commissioned to plan and design Chaparral Hall a four-story, 90,000 sf science teaching building housing wet research, teaching, and computation research labs, core lab facilities, a 5,000 sf vivarium, faculty and administrative offices, and classrooms.
The building is comprised of two distinctive clusters that separate the research from teaching facilities. Faculty offices link the two clusters together, creating communal and collaborative space. The complex encompasses a four story outdoor lobby and plaza and a three-level outdoor public staircase which facilitates circulation to the teaching labs located on the upper floors, serves to orientate visitors, and promotes social interaction. A plaza facing the Botanical Gardens offers the students quiet space for study and reflection. A continuous outdoor covered walkway enables pedestrian circulation around the facility while visually connecting the Science Complex and the campus.